Spectrum Health United Hospital holds groundbreaking ceremony

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:34 pm on Friday, October 14, 2011

Daily News/Kelli Ameling Many participated in the groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning. From left, Dave Oehring, Sen. Judy Emmons, Dr. Rocky Hansen, Rita Huffman, Byron and Dolores Cook, Dr. Matthews DeWys, Caroline Slocum, Gordon Stauffer, the Rev. Jerry Jones, Bill and Jelane Braman, Paul Bonis, Tina Freese-Decker, Marc Chircop, Dr. Dominico Ausiello, Dr. John Merchun, Emily Merchun, Dr. Roger Coles, Phil Tower, Shirley Hayes, Brian Brasser and Jodie Faber.

GREENVILLE – Spectrum Health United Hospital’s United For Health project officially began on Friday with a groundbreaking celebration at the hospital.
“This is a joyous occasion,” said Dr. Domenico Ausiello, a Spectrum Health United Memorial Foundation board member.
The project includes development and renovation of the Stanley and Blanche Ash Emergency Department, Bill Braman Family Diagnostic Center, Ray and Mary Tower Main Lobby, Patient Access and Registration and the Cardiology Center.
“Today is far from the beginning of the project,” Ausiello said. “It’s been years in the making.”
A study completed by Freeman White showed that the hospital saw a 95.4 percent increase in emergency department patients from 2005 to 2010.
Total renovation and construction will provide nearly 31,000 square feet of modernized services. It will allow for better customer services with short wait time and specialized health care.
“The United For Health project truly is a response to the need of the community,” said Spectrum Health United Hospital President Tina Freese-Decker.
Ausiello and Freese-Decker welcomed the guest with an oversight of the project during the groundbreaking ceremonies.
JD Dreyer of Davis Partnership Architects and John Parker of Elzinga & Volkers, both project managers, addressed the audience during the ceremony.
“We are very, very excited to be a part of the project,” Parker said.
Honorary Foundation Board Member Dr. Roger Coles thanked the community for their support on making United For Health possible.
The $10.6 million project will not require much debt for the hospital. It will be paid mostly with hospital operating proceeds and community contributions.
So far, about $1.6 million of the $3 million fundraising goal has been contributed.

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